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Could AntiVira AV have infected my BIOS?

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#1 Eric Vinyl

Eric Vinyl

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 03:47 PM

Yes, I was probably googling haphazardly under Windows; mea culpa.

After booting back into Windows from a Linux live CD, I saw the AntiVira AV pop-up. Knowing it was fake, I restarted with the live CD to find out how to remove it. I disabled the proxy server under Safe Mode and restarted normally, planning on ending the program with the Task Manager, then manually removing it. I couldn't find the process using Ctrl-Alt-Delete, however, and RegEdit wasn't quite as straightforward as I'd remembered, so I restarted once again to do more research while booting off the optical drive. However, this time I was given the "Windows did not shut down correctly" screen (I think I used the reset button)... but I couldn't select Safe Mode!

Since then, I am unable to press any keys either to get into the BIOS or select which device to boot from. The Caps/Scroll/Num Lock LEDs, which usually flash upon restart, stay dark. The screen showing the BIOS info appears, and then the system beeps, booting from the first available drive - although it seems like the splash screen is "cut off" by Windows; it doesn't appear as long as usual before beeping - and it didn't used to beep when booting to the OS, either. I disconnected the hard disk to boot from the CD, but still could not use the keyboard at the opening screen! The CD loads, presents boot options, but is completely unresponsive to input. However, once Linux is fully loaded, I can type, all the F keys, arrows, and Caps Lock, etc. lights work with no problem.

What is going on? Did some software somehow cause the motherboard to not recognize the keyboard at boot? Will flashing the BIOS fix this? (I have no idea how to do that.) Given that the system is infected with AntiVira AV, it won't let me run any of the spyware-removal software, but being unable to boot from CD with the hard drive still connected I can't remove AntiVira... and if the firmware has been modified, will it just reinfect me once I boot into a clean Windows?

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#2 cryptodan


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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:06 PM

For starters, I would recommend that you try replacing the CMOS Battery, and clearing your CMOS following the guidance in your motherboard manual.

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